Israel’s Netanyahu shares photos he says are ‘babies murdered and burned’ by Hamas – National |


WARNING: This article includes descriptions of graphic and disturbing subject matter. The in-text link in the third line goes to a social media post by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that shows the images described in this article. Reader discretion is advised.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday released images on social media that he says are of babies killed by Hamas militants during last weekend’s attack on the country.

He said he shared the images with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who travelled to Tel Aviv in a show of support for Israel.

The images show what Netanyahu said were “horrifying photos of babies murdered and burned by the Hamas monsters.”

Global News has not independently verified the images or other allegations Netanyahu has shared publicly since the attack.

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Click to play video: '‘I’m still in shock’: Israelis mourn victims of Hamas violence'

‘I’m still in shock’: Israelis mourn victims of Hamas violence

In a joint press conference alongside Netanyahu after their meeting, Blinken said those images and others were “harrowing.”

“It’s impossible for me to look at the photos of families killed — such as the mother, father, and three small children murdered as they sheltered in their home in Kibbutz Nir Oz — and not think of my own children,” Blinken said.

“Babies slaughtered. Bodies desecrated. Young people burned alive. Women raped. Parents executed in front of their children, children in front of their parents. How are we even to understand this, to digest this?”

In a late-night televised address Wednesday following his formation of a wartime government cabinet, Netanyahu alleged that the attackers engaged in atrocities, including binding boys and girls and shooting them in the head, burning people alive, raping women and beheading soldiers.

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The prime minister vowed to “crush and destroy” Hamas, and warned that “every Hamas member is a dead man.”

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‘These atrocities have been sickening’: Biden condemns Hamas attacks, pledges military aid for Israel

Netanyahu and the Israeli government have shared a litany of graphic images on their social media accounts that they say are of scenes discovered by Israeli security forces in the aftermath of the attack. Some of them include blood-stained cribs and children’s beds.

At least 2,800 people have been killed on all sides since Hamas first launched its attack on Saturday. The death toll is expected to keep rising as fighting escalates and more bodies are recovered from the scenes near the border with Gaza.

Hamas’ assault killed more than 1,300 people in Israel, including 247 soldiers — a toll unseen in Israel for decades — and the ensuing Israeli bombardment has killed more than 1,530 people in Gaza, according to authorities on both sides. Israel says roughly 1,500 Hamas militants were killed inside Israel, and that hundreds of the dead in Gaza are Hamas members. Thousands have been wounded on both sides.

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On Tuesday, Netanyahu said he told U.S. President Joe Biden that Hamas, “took dozens of children, bound them up, burned them and executed them,” as well as burned soldiers, according to a readout of their call provided by Netanyahu’s office.

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‘I’m freaking out’: Israelis, Palestinians wait for word of their loved ones

During a meeting with American Jewish leaders at the White House on Wednesday, Biden suggested images of the atrocities had been confirmed.

“I never really thought that I would see and have confirmed pictures of terrorists beheading children,” he said.

A Biden administration official later told Global News on background that Biden was referring to images and reports in U.S. and world media, which have included interviews with Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) members and Israeli government officials recounting the alleged atrocities.

On Thursday, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby would not say if U.S. intelligence has verified the allegations, and reiterated that Biden was referring to media reports.

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Many of the reports, including from CNN and the BBC, have focused on the Israeli kibbutz of Kfar Aza, where foreign journalists were brought by IDF leaders and reportedly shown scenes of murdered families, including children and infants.

“What happened in Kibbutz Kfar Aza is a massacre in which women, children, toddlers and elderly were brutally butchered in a manner alike to ISIS,” an IDF spokesperson told Global News in an email.

The spokesperson said they could not confirm how many civilians were killed there.

“We are aware of the heinous acts Hamas is capable of,” the IDF said.

Hamas has denied killing children or targeting civilians, saying in a statement on Wednesday the allegations were “fabricated” by Western media to echo “lies and slander” by Israel.

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Israeli authorities say they have recovered bodies from homes, businesses, vehicles and other civilian sites, including at least 260 victims at an outdoor music festival near the Gaza border.

Click to play video: 'Biden confirms U.S. nationals among hostages taken by Hamas in Israel'

Biden confirms U.S. nationals among hostages taken by Hamas in Israel

The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and Israel, said this week it has already collected “clear evidence that war crimes have been committed” by all sides of the conflict.

“The Commission has been collecting and preserving evidence of war crimes committed by all sides since 7 October 2023, when Hamas launched a complex attack on Israel and Israeli forces responded with airstrikes in Gaza,” the commission said in a statement on Oct. 10.

“Reports that armed groups from Gaza have gunned down hundreds of unarmed civilians are abhorrent and cannot be tolerated. Taking civilian hostages and using civilians as human shields are war crimes.”

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Israeli children are allegedly among the hostages taken by Hamas, according to the Israeli government.

The commission added it “is gravely concerned with Israel’s latest attack on Gaza and Israel’s announcement of a complete siege on Gaza involving the withholding of water, food, electricity and fuel which will undoubtfully cost civilian lives and constitutes collective punishment.”

— with files from Global’s Reggie Cecchini and the Associated Press


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